Pre and provisionally registered pharmacists who sat the registration assessment in March achieved an 88.2% pass rate, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) revealed today (29 April).

According to the regulator, 90.2% of 1310 candidates who sat the assessment on 17 March passed, while 86.4% of the 1356 who sat the exam on 18 March also passed.

A total of 1782 candidates who were undertaking their pre-registration training placements in a community pharmacy sat the assessment, with 84% (1501) achieving a pass mark.

This was the first registration assessment held online after it was initially postponed last April in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC,congratulated the candidates who passed the assessment.

‘This truly is a great achievement, particularly given the challenges these candidates faced. I also want to thank the tutors, education and training providers and employers who supported candidates throughout this extremely difficult year,’ he said.

He added: ‘We know that candidates who haven’t passed this sitting will be very disappointed. We hope the guidance we have developed will help them understand their options for next steps and are grateful to all of the organisations and individuals across pharmacy who will also provide them with support and advice.

'We know that candidates who haven’t passed this sitting will be very disappointed.

Mr Rudkin also said that a number of factors may have contributed to the ‘relatively high’ pass rate, but that it was not possible to determine ‘with any degree of certainty’ which may have had the most impact.

He added: ‘We are confident that we have maintained the overall standard required to pass both sittings and that all successful candidates have suitably demonstrated the knowledge, skills and

experience needed to practise safely and effectively. We wish the successful candidates all the best in their future careers.’

‘An outstanding achievement’

Sean Brannen, president of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA), said the body is proud of all the candidates that sat the registration assessment this March.

He said: ‘Each one of these candidates has made an incredible contribution to the profession and we wish them all the very best of luck today.

‘We hope that a huge majority will be receiving positive news and for those that don't receive the news they were hoping for, we will continue to seek opportunities to help them succeed at their next attempt.’

Sandra Gidley, president of Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) also congratulated the cohort.

Considering the unusual circumstances presented by the pandemic, this is an outstanding achievement and we at the RPS are very proud of the commitment shown by all trainee pharmacists in preparing for the exam,’ she said.

‘We must continue to support and protect our pharmacists for the future, and we’ll be working hard with the GPhC to address the challenges of this year’s assessment.

She added: ‘We’d now like to see more information on the pass rates of those who took the exam remotely and in-person in exam centres, as this will continue to be a model for the assessment going forward.’